Albany, N.Y., July 19—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, cheered the enactment of legislation signed into law yesterday by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to implement regulatory reforms and tax incentives to encourage the expansion of the state's growing craft beer industry.
O’Mara said that the new law, which he strongly supported in the Senate, will help enhance and strengthen the foundations of agriculture and tourism across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.
“It’s a strong statement in support of agriculture, business and tourism throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes region, and statewide,” said O’Mara. “I strongly supported this bipartisan effort to recognize a vibrant industry and take steps to help it grow, create jobs and strengthen other key industries. The craft beer industry offers unlimited economic spin-off opportunities.”
The new law (S.7728/A.10695, Chapter 109 of the Laws of 2012), which was approved by the Legislature in June, is designed to support New York's breweries and wineries, increase demand for locally grown farm products, and expand industry-related economic development and tourism. The law protects an important tax benefit for small breweries that produce beer in New York, exempts breweries that produce small batches of beer (regardless of location) from paying an annual State Liquor Authority fee, and creates a Farm Brewery license that will allow craft brewers to expand their operations through opening restaurants or selling new products.
New York's craft brewing industry already consists of more than 90 breweries, accounts for thousands of jobs and generates more than $200 million of annual economic activity. For more information, visit the Finger Lakes Beer Trail at www.fingerlakesbeertrail.com.